2 years ago, we did the same thing. Ella was just 9 months old and Brynn was just a hope and a dream at that time (or an egg and a sperm if you want to be all technical about it...). Anyway .... This is the blog post I wrote later that night after tucking her in. Tonight my heart was in much the same place as that night ... so I'll just re-post what I wrote then. Only, now I'm thinking of two girls' first proms (and how I really better start saving for that now! Holy cow ... the dresses were phenomenal, but surely couldn't be cheap!) Anyway ...
A letter for my baby Ella with thoughts of your first prom ...
As I sat and watched all the teenage girls and their dates promenade through the gym tonight, with you sitting on my lap, my mind wandered into the future ... to your first prom. I know it is almost 16 years away, but if what everyone says is true, that day will be here before we know it.
I imagine we’ll spend all day getting ready ... doing your hair and make up, maybe even going for pedicures or manicures. You will put on your new dress (the one that I should start saving for now!) and you’ll waltz down the stairs to show off for your dad and your younger brothers and sisters. Daddy will twirl you around the living room, and we’ll take all kinds of pictures of our baby girl, now all grown up. Maybe you’ll even wear a pink bow in your hair like you did tonight.
The bag I’ll help you pack that night will be entirely different than the one we took with us tonight. Then it will be make- up and hairspray; tonight it was a warm bottle and your favorite blankie.
You’ll nervously await for your date to arrive. Daddy and I will try not to let on that we’re even more nervous than you are. And I’ll make sure Dad puts his shot-gun (which he thinks would be a really funny joke!) back in the safe. This boy, who is not yet a beau, but more than just a friend, will show up at our door with your corsage in hand, and his car freshly washed. Dad will probably tell a cheesy joke to try to break the ice, and you’ll be embarrassed and roll your eyes, but you’ll laugh at him anyway. He always can make you laugh and smile. You and your date pose for more pictures, and your cheeks start to hurt from smiling so much!
And before we know it, he’ll take your arm and lead you to the door. I hope he’ll remember to open the car door for you. And I hope he will treat with gentleness and respect.
Daddy will wipe the tears from my eyes -- and try not to let anyone see them welling up in his own. We’ll pray that you’ll be safe ... that’ll you have fun ... that you’ll get lost in the moment and enjoy the freedom and carefree spirit of youth. I hope you dance the night away with all of your friends close by!
We’ll remind you to be strong and pure, and hope that you will be able to stand up to the peer pressure that often comes along with nights like this. That you’ll be true to the values we’ve modeled and taught you over the past 16 years. And we’ll swell with pride as we watch our little Ella Grace smile beautifully as they call your name during the promenade through the gym ...
But, for tonight I’m going to hold you tight, all snuggled up on my lap. I’ll rock you just a little longer than usual, and try to capture these moments in my mind’s eye -- your chubby little 9 month old face, rosy cheeks, the tiny pink bow in your soft blonde hair, those big blue eyes as they blink, heavily, off to sleep, and the funny way you pull my face close to yours for “Ella-kisses”. And, tonight I am grateful, for many reasons, that I have another 16 years before your first prom.